Medical Needs Outreach
The Outreach Team at the Royal Free Hospital Children’s School
All children and young people are entitled to a high quality education. At times, illness can disrupt a student’s progress. The Outreach Team at the Royal Free Hospital Children’s School are committed to supporting pupils with medical and mental health needs. The team’s teachers offer bespoke packages of support for children unable to attend school due to illness. Referrals to the Outreach Team can be made via the School Inclusion Panel (see details below). There is no charge to schools for support provided by the Outreach Team.
The Statutory Framework
Camden has a statutory duty to ‘arrange suitable full-time education (or as much education as the child’s health condition allows) for children of compulsory school age who, because of illness, would otherwise not receive suitable education’ (Department for Education, 2013). Additionally, in 2015 the Department for Education published Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions. This sets out a duty for schools to support children who have health needs.
The Outreach Team works closely with families, schools, medical professionals and other agencies to enable pupils to engage in education. All play a vital part in this process:
Coping with illness in a family can be a very stressful time. Families should aim to keep the school updated about their child’s health and any medical absences so that possible help can be explored. They may need to provide medical evidence to confirm their child’s entitlement to support. Parents / carers will be asked to give written consent for information to be shared with the London Borough of Camden and Royal Free Hospital School staff in order to comply with General Data Protection Regulations.
Where possible, schools should aim to make a referral to the School Inclusion Panel as soon as they become aware that a child is likely to be or has been absent for over 3 weeks of cumulative school days. Where children have long-term health needs, the pattern of illness and absence from school can be unpredictable. The most appropriate form of support for these children should be discussed and agreed between the school, the family, relevant medical professionals, the Outreach Team, and the School Inclusion Service.
If a pupil’s health needs are likely to have a significant impact on their attainment over an extended period, parents / carers and school should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care assessment from the local authority.
The Outreach Team
The Outreach Team’s role is a supportive one. The core aim is to work with colleagues in health, education and allied fields to enable children with medical needs to engage with learning. Students are assessed and individual support programmes devised and delivered. Support and advice is also available around reintegrating students back into school. The outreach teachers work closely with parents/carers, regularly updating them on progress and ensuring they are included in the educational planning process. We are committed to the principles of trauma informed practice and work with Camden schools around this.
Year 11 students may have the opportunity to take GCSE exams and other accreditation at the Royal Free Hospital Children’s School. Special access arrangements are made to support the individual needs of students during the exam period. The aim is to manage any anxieties whilst providing the best outcomes for the young person.
How to Make a Referral to the Outreach Team
Schools and other professionals can apply for educational support for pupils who are missing education due to ill-health (physical and mental). The pupil must be a Camden resident of statutory school age. All referrals are made via the School Inclusion Panel.
To obtain application papers contact: Dylan.Buckle@camden.gov.uk Telephone: 0207 974 1654 / 07880 793039
Complete application papers and submit with supporting medical evidence for discussion at the School Inclusion Panel which meets every six weeks.
Referral is discussed at the multi-disciplinary School Inclusion Panel. Referral is accepted for allocation or declined / more information sought. Dylan Buckle reports outcome to referrer.
The pupil is allocated to a teacher from the Outreach Team. The teacher will liaise with the family, school and network to assess student, devise and delivery appropriate support.
Allocated cases are reviewed by the School Inclusion Panel at six weekly intervals.